Although paid inclusion programs and paid search campaigns provide the most immediate marketing results, SEO strategies generally provide the most cost-efficient and the most consistent traffic. So, when you have only a modest marketing budget to work with, start by optimizing your site through smart SEO strategies.
As search innovation rolls out to the user, the beta release has been a tried and true way of testing the waters. Currently, there are dozens of different flavors of search in beta.
Tunnel vision? Silo mentality? Myopia? Whatever the name, it spells one thing: missed opportunity. Search marketing is a highly effective and efficient medium on its own, but when integrated with other marketing channels, the returns can be exponential.
We don't have the right to remain silent, no matter who we are. We the marketers need to demand transparency from those we do business with. We the consumers need to vocalize our privacy concerns, though it's hard to speak out about issues we don't understand. We the search engines need to be more outspoken in educating our constituents.
Search engine marketing, like any growth industry, is a tangled web of people who, at some point in time, have intersected at one company or another. Scarce resources turn everyday events into major news stories. Departures are blogged, arrivals are heralded, and all this bouncing around makes "Days of Our Lives" look like kid stuff.
As both paid and natural search marketing strategies become mainstream online marketing tools, too often a fundamental and critical question is never asked: "What exactly are we trying to accomplish here?"
Geoff Ramsay from eMarketer is a smart guy. At Search Engine Strategies in New York last week, Geoff said that search marketing is only at 10 percent of its potential size. I'm not sure how Geoff quantified the 10 percent figure, but when it comes to the fact that we're only scratching the surface of search, I agree wholeheartedly.
All the people in my family are able to describe their jobs in one word. My father and brother are both doctors, my mother and sister-in-law are teachers, my uncle's a lawyer and my grandfather was a shopkeeper. So, as you can imagine, when I decided to go into usability and user-centered design, much confusion abounded.
After the first night of Search Engine Strategies in New York last week, I had a dream that a friend thought she was pregnant and I tried to find her doctor's number using search engines; even after constantly revising my query, I came up empty. The next day at Search Engine Strategies, I was in a conversation with David Vise, author of The Google Story, and he mentioned how searching for healthcare information presents a major untapped opportunity for search engines and technology companies.
There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, when working in the search engine marketing industry was like running a speakeasy, if not an outright bootlegging operation. We had our secret sauce and access to distribution--and those who sought our moonshine had to know where to find us.